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X-Factor star lights festival touchpaper

PUBLISHED: 16:41 28 May 2008 | UPDATED: 09:47 23 August 2010

LONDON - MAY 12:  Singer Jason Donovan plays at the Perfume Shop LK Today High Street Fashion Awards at Cafe De Paris on May 12, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

LONDON - MAY 12: Singer Jason Donovan plays at the Perfume Shop LK Today High Street Fashion Awards at Cafe De Paris on May 12, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

A 15-YEAR-OLD star of X-Factor who was told by the iceman Simon Cowell that he had a great voice is set to stun festival visitors. Gravesend singing sensation Mathew Crane performed at a launch party for this July s Dartford Festival, which is set to b

Gravesend
03-08-07
pic:Simon Hildrew
Matthew Crane appeared on X-Factor

A 15-YEAR-OLD star of X-Factor who was told by the iceman Simon Cowell that he had a "great voice" is set to stun festival visitors.

Gravesend singing sensation Mathew Crane performed at a launch party for this July's Dartford Festival, which is set to be headlined by Aussie soap icon Jason Donovan.

Organisers confirmed at Acacia Hall, High Street, Dartford, last Wednesday that TV star and singer Donovan will top the bill on July 19.

Glen Johnson, of FA Cup winning side Portsmouth is expected to attend, along with players from Charlton Athletic.

But it was Matthew Crane, who made it to the boot camp stage of X-Factor, who wowed audiences at the launch. He revealed he was inspired by two comments made by Cowell, one about his voice and the other to loose weight.

He said: "I've been on a training regime and lost four stone by going to the gym five times a week and eating a high protein diet plus lots of fruit and vegetables.

"I'm really looking forward to performing at the Dartford Festival.

"Singing is how I express myself to other people, I love their reaction and I love music."

He also made it to Saturday's grand final of UK Unsung, a black urban music competition.

Mr Crane said: "When I sung the audience just gasped in surprise at the fact I was a classical singer, they weren't expecting it but judging by their dancing they enjoyed it."

Talented new band Sound Casters, whose members come from Dartford, Gravesend and Meopham, played in front of their first public audience at Acacia Hall's launch party.

Tom James, 17, of Filborough Way, Gravesend, said: "We've only been together as a band for three weeks so to perform in front of thousands in a couple of months' time will be awesome."

This year's festival on July 19 and 20 has many new attractions, including a Bigtop Circus and dog display teams, supporting a host of action packed events like skate board stunts at the new rink, judo, archery and fun games for all ages.

Top tribute acts include Amy Winehouse, Tom Jones, Bob Marley and Queen.

Children from the renowned Liz Burville School of Dance gave a taste of their artistic prowess at the launch party last Wednesday. They will perform on the big stage along with the best singing talent Kent has to offer.

Popular cocky duo Chas 'n' Dave will round off the fun on Sunday evening, July 20.

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